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Putin's last push in Donbas and Johnson's call: Foreign media digest as of April 19

Western media continue to report about the war in Ukraine: on April 19, the media has covered how Russia is trying to purchase medical equipment from India and lying about the return of the occupied territories "to peaceful life."

The UK is calling on the West to provide more weapons to Kyiv, and Moscowia promises not to use nuclear weapons and is preparing for the "last push" before May 9th.

The Page offers an up-to-date review of what the European and American media are reporting on the 55th day of the active Russian invasion.

Russia asks India for medical equipment


The Times of India reports that Russia is seeking more medical equipment from India after sanctions and logistical logjams following President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine have sharply reduced imports from Europe and China.

Medical device companies from India and Russia will discuss ways to boost supplies during a virtual meeting on April 22.

India is hoping to boost exports to Russia as the two nations work out a payment system in local currencies similar to one used during the Cold War to maintain bilateral trade as Moscow faces sweeping international sanctions.

The United States and its allies have earlier criticized New Delhi for increasing the amount of Russian oil purchased. After that, India decided to stop a significant increase in future oil supplies from Russia.

Russia complains: "The West is dragging out" its atrocities

Collage of Getty Images photo

Collage of Getty Images photo

The Guardian quotes Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, who has accused the US and its western allies of "doing everything to drag out" Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine by supplying Kyiv with arms.

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Shoigu referred to eastern Ukraine’s two the so-called people’s republics LPR and DPR, voicing another Russian lie:

Quote"We are gradually implementing our plan to liberate the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. We are taking measures to restore peaceful life."

Recall that it is on the occupied territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions that filtration camps are located, through which civilians forcibly displaced from Mariupol and other cities of Ukraine pass.

This is not counting examples of the forcible mobilization of civilians in these regions for the war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.

Johnson calls for more weapons to Ukraine

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The Guardian also reports that UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, has updated cabinet ministers on the latest situation in Ukraine, saying the country’s position was "perilous":

Quote"Vladimir Putin is angered by defeats, but determined to claim some sort of victory regardless of the human cost".

Ahead of a call with other world leaders this afternoon, Johnson said it was "more vital than ever to increase global support" including more defensive weaponry and sanctions against Russia.

A senior national security adviser also reported that Putin was focused on the Donbas region:

Quote"The next phase of the war was likely to be an attritional conflict which could last several months".

According to the official, Russia would aim to exploit its troop number advantage but Ukraine had already shown that this was unlikely to be decisive on its own:

Quote"There are some signs that Russia had not learned lessons from previous setbacks in northern Ukraine. Reports of poor Russian morale continued with claims of some soldiers leaving units refusing to fight.

Johnson also announced that the UK will give Stormer missile launchers to Ukraine.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

The largest defense company in the world will help Kyiv

The Wall Street Journal reports that the American military-industrial corporation Lockheed Martin said it is in talks with the Pentagon about increasing production of weapons destined for Ukraine.

Lockheed, the world’s largest defense company by sales, and other military contractors said they have been fielding requests from Western governments for additional production.

Shares of American and European defense companies have outperformed the broader market since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, lifted by the pledges of countries including Germany to increase military spending.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

Lockheed produces F-35 combat jets that Germany now plans to buy, as well as F-16 fighters, Black Hawk helicopters and a range of munitions and missile-defense systems.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer said any additional production for Ukraine wouldn’t have an impact on its financial results.

Moscowia promises to do without nuclear weapons

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

The BBC quotes Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying that Russia would not use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Quote"Conventional weapons only," — assured the international spokesperson of the bloody state.

Early on in the war, Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's nuclear forces be placed on high alert, and a number of Russian government figures have signalled the country would be willing to use them in certain circumstances.

Lavrov also says, with Russia's offensive now focused on Ukraine's east, the war is entering a new phase:

Quote"The operation in the east of Ukraine is aimed, as was announced from the very beginning, to fully liberate the (so-called) Donetsk and Luhansk republics. And this operation will continue."

New phase of war: How is it different

Photo: Max Levin

Photo: Max Levin

BBc also quotes Dr Jack Watling, of defense and security think tank the Royal United Services Institute (Rusi), who reflects on how this phase of the war — will be different from what we've seen in recent weeks.

The thing is, during their offensive on Kyiv, the Russians were advancing on two roads, and struggled to get off those roads through dense woodland.

Their artillery was stuck quite a long way from the front in that traffic jam and their forward units were in range of Ukrainian artillery, so they took very heavy casualties.

Quote"This, by contrast, is a fight over quite open country, over a very wide area and there are parts of it that are quite industrial and urbanised... the towns are smaller," he says.

So the Russians should be able to be less fixed, to manoeuvre, and there should be much more in the way of contact battles rather than ambushes, he predicts.

Parade on May 9: Russians’ last push

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Asked if Russia would be able to take control of Donbas before May 9, Watling stated:

Quote"It's feasible, but it's a very long way from being assured."

He admits that the Ukrainian units redeployed to the east are very exhausted, but this still does not guarantee the success of Russia.

It will probably be the last push for the Russians until they really have to pause for a couple of months to rebuild their forces.

According to him, the 9 May date has shifted in its significance.

Quote"It is no longer the date on which the Russians are aiming to declare success and victory, and instead is moving towards something that they will use as a rallying point to declare wider mobilization."

Big detour for Russian aircraft

Sky News, citing flight-tracking website Flightradar24, reports that a plane sent from Moscow to pick up expelled Russian diplomats from Greece and Spain was forced to make a 15,000km detour due to an EU flight ban.

The first leg of the journey saw the aircraft take an extended route to Madrid before flying across a section of North Africa and turning north towards Athens.

A statement on the flight-tracking website reads:

Quote"While Spain and Greece made a one-time exception for the aircraft to enter their airspace, the flights navigated around other countries that maintain bans on Russian flights."

In February, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the closure of EU airspace to Russian aircraft. Among others, Russian aircraft cannot fly over the following countries:

  • United Kingdom;
  • Poland;
  • Bulgaria;
  • Czech Republic;
  • Spain;
  • Greece;
  • Romania;
  • Lithuania;
  • Latvia;
  • Estonia;
  • Sweden;
  • Finland;
  • Denmark;
  • Iceland.

The Spanish Prime minister is heading to Kyiv

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Reuters reports, citing a source in the Spanish government, that Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez will travel to Kyiv in the coming days to meet with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Sanchez follows the footsteps of several other European leaders, including European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, as well as British Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

They visited Ukraine after the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a sign of support for the country’s president and people.

Sanchez also stated that Spain would reopen its embassy in Kyiv, which has been closed since Feb. 24.

Instead of an afterword. While Russia is trying to maintain trade with India and continues to accuse the West of "dragging out the special operation", that is, the genocide of the Ukrainian people, Western partners are discussing more serious weapons for Kyiv that needs to withstand the second wave of Moscowia’s full-scale invasion on our lands.

Although the Kremlin assures that it will not use nuclear weapons, according to preliminary data, it doesn't shy away from using chemical weapons. The civilian residents of Mariupol in the Azovstal building, where children are hiding, do not discourage the invaders in any way, because Moscowia has already given the order to raze the plant to the ground.

Meanwhile, Western analysts explain how the new phase of the war will be different for both Russians and Ukrainians, and why it is important for the invaders to make the last push before May 9 in order to then declare a wider mobilization.

All this means dragging out hostilities for months, albeit with operational pauses, but the main thing for Ukraine is to try to save the civilians of Mariupol and the soldiers who continue to defend the city. To do this, the weapons available to Kyiv, obviously, are not enough. Ukraine has been fighting for its right to exist for 55 days.

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